33 International students on the most surprising things about America/Canada.

As an international student, the question ‘Where are you from?’ is often met with astonishment and surprise. Generally speaking, American students are very excited to learn about students from other countries and the quirks and eccentricities of their cultures. However, not many consider how foreign and bizarre American culture can appear to visiting foreigners. So for your education and entertainment, I have compiled a list of responses to the question, “What was the most surprising thing about America/Canada when you came here for school?”

  1. M . 22. Ukraine. Bathroom attendants.
  2. F. 21. Ukraine. That it is a financial strain to eat healthy.
  3. F. 19. Lebanon. Portion sizes.
  4. M. 24. Montenegro. Twerking*.
  5. M. 19. Ethiopia. The cold weather.
  6. M. 19. Scotland. Drive-thru pharmacies.
  7. F . 22. Finland. Lack of sidewalks.
  8. M. 24. Ghana. Racism.
  9. M. 22. Nigeria. Buffalo wings, what the hell is going on? Bagels and cream cheese, I loved it. Unlimited pizza. Ice machines.
  10. F. 23. Finland. The food is tasteless. Not enough hot guys.
  11. M. 24. Saudi Arabia. Four seasons.
  12. M. 18. Albania. The parties.
  13. M. 19. Zambia. The girls are crazy.
  14. F. 21. Myanmar. Competitive spirit.
  15. M.  22. Saudi Arabia. Girls wearing pajamas in class.
  16. M. 19. Argentina. So many different cultures.
  17. F. 23. Ethiopia. Seeing white people doing construction and janitorial jobs.
  18. M. 20. Tanzania. High cost of living, high multiculturalism, high Catholic religiosity, conservatism.
  19. F. 22. Kenya. Opportunities for people of all ages.
  20. F. 21. Gambia. People getting annoyed at calling fries, chips, calling soccer football and calling parking lots car parks.
  21. F. 24. Rwanda. Lack of privacy, lack of boundaries.
  22. M. 23. Kenya. Girls being harder to hook up with [Than they show in movies].
  23. M. 24. Finland. People dressed like bums in class. People being so polite.
  24. F. 22. Finland. There’s not that many fat people. People here are so nice.
  25. F. 24. Finland. Healthier food.
  26. M. 22. Egypt. Subway more prominent than McDonald’s.
  27. M. 21. Ghana. Cupcakes being 2/3rds frosting and 1/3 cupcake.
  28. F. 22. Kenya. The obsession with trends.
  29. F. 20. Kenya. Adjusting to the South’s slang and accent.
  30. M. 22. Kenya. The friendliness of the people.
  31. M. 22. Zimbabwe. The hotness of the women.
  32. F. 18. Eritrea. Everything is huge.
  33. M. 22. Zimbabwe. How relaxed everyone is in regards to drugs in Vancouver.

*By far, the most common response to this question was twerking. My personal response to this question would have been, like many above me (Removed for the sake of redundancy), twerking. Having grown up in a fairly Western household, and having visited the US twice before I came to university here, I was quiet familiar with American culture. However, the one phenomenon I had not been exposed to was twerking. For those that do not know what twerking is click on the hyper-linked text.

My first contact (Literally) with twerking came in the form of an abrupt collision. I was a freshman attending a fraternity party off-campus. There in that dim-light basement I made my way through the crowd of people only to be struck square in the thigh by a rogue shoulder. Astonished and bemused as to why a shoulder had hit me in the middle of my leg, I looked down to see a scantily dressed young woman engaging in the aforementioned act on another even more scantily dressed woman, who in turn was twerking on a rather pleased looking gentleman. I was dumbfounded by the level of efficiency displayed in such a depraved act. It was after collecting my lower jaw off the floor, I realized that I had just received my very own culture shock.